Hello everyone, Six Zero here with the latest installment of:
SIX QUESTIONS WITH BLAZEFIRE
Inspired by the official site’s “Two Minute Drill” series and TomVH’s famous Q&A segments with potential recruits, this weekly feature highlights some of the more famous personalities here at MGoBlog. Without pulling back the infamous veil of blog anonymity, we’ll get to know some of your favorite posters better and possibly shed some light on their definition of why it’s so darn Great, To Be, A Michigan Wolverine.
When this new series was announced, there was plans to spotlight some of the official staff, some of the more unique personalities who fill a certain niche of our audience, and of course some of the core people who make up the main table of MGoBlog. I would assume that early on, several of you probably imagined a short list of people that simply must be part of this project, or perhaps even assembled a list of your own. Either way, that short list did indeed exist since the very beginning of MGoProfile, and probably one of the names everyone expected was Blazefire. And yes, of course his name is on the list, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to this interview. So, without further ado, let’s get to it:
1. What would MGoBlog be like without Blazefire?
Without me, MGoBlog would shed the last vestiges of geekery and finally be able to sit at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria at lunch.
Actually, that's an excellent question. I have been a member of various forums online for many years now, so I joined the board very, very shortly after discovering MGoBlog and picked up the rules as I went along. As such, I don't really have much context for what it was like before I came along. I don't necessarily think I bring anything terribly unique to the table, except perhaps a propensity for verbosity and a dedication to being entertaining. I'm not a math guy. We have lots of those on the board, and they do an exceptional job. I like to think maybe the board would have a few less laughs and definitely a few less puns without me.
And also a few less MGoPoints. Over 15,000, to be exact. FIFTEEN THOUSAND. Although we know they have no literal value, I would bet you can argue that it has allowed you a certain level of notoriety as a true MGoGold Card Member. How does one accrue this much recognition, and in your own words, what have you earned from it?
The MGoPoints mostly come at night. Mostly. < /Aliens Reference >
Actually, mostly it's just that I post quite a bit. I am busy at work, but with busy work, most of which is done with a very old and slow computer program. While it's processing, I post. I can tell you that most of my points have come in bits and pieces, from this or that post. I don't try to accrue them. I don't try to say the popular thing. I also don't try to be controversial or raise issues, too much. By and large, as I said, I like to be entertaining, and I like to be positive. You can't go wrong that way. That said, I can tell you that I earned about 1% of my total MGoPoints on a single post. The Mike Rosenberg peeking in from the side gif was really popular.
2. You're one of the select few among us who, for lack of a better
term, are something of a watchdog. Grammar, unproven claims of fact, utter crap, whatever. Describe the responsibility of this role, and what prompts you to fly into action above all else?
Yup, you pegged me. I suspect a lot of this comes from growing up in the house that I did. My parents are very wonderful people, and I love them dearly. That said, my father is a big-time 'do it right or don't do it at all' kind of guy. He didn't always expect A+'s or anything, but dinner table discussion often focused on this or that "yahoo" and how they'd screwed up. I'm a little more willing to forgive those errors than he is, but I still feel compelled to point them out.
That said, I try to avoid overstepping my bounds, because I'm far from infallible, but often times the innate character of my father comes through. I've learned over the years to try and always make sure that I'm right before I say anything, or at least that I can back up with some authority what I think is true, because often enough, it's come back to bite me, or those with me. As a younger teenager (maybe 14), I went to Kohl's once with my mom, and we decided to get me a new pillow.
The pillow was marked with a particular price, but it rang up about $10 more. As you may know, most stores will give you the marked price, but Kohl's, for whatever reason, will not. Well, I, all of 14 years old, laid into that clerk, and I was prepared to go as far as necessary to get the marked price. My mother, on the other hand, is not of the same mentality that holds people (or stores) accountable for their mistakes. But of course, being the adult in the situation, the clerk, and then manager, got lippy with HER when I was the one arguing their points. She does not have the chutzpa for those kind of arguments, and it was not pretty.
+1 for use of the term chutzpa. My next question may be related to the last... Why Judge Dredd? And, I already know the answer to this one, but let's humor the masses: Why are you being choked, and by whom?
Why not Judge Dredd? If you can protect Mega City One, you've got some massive cojones. That said, I don't think I actually view myself as an enforcer or police officer, but then again, I do have a deep seated disgust for those that would hurt or take advantage of others, and I want to see them stopped, so you never know. Maybe I'm in the wrong career.
I actually first 'fell in love' with JD during junior high. As an elective, I took a Sci-Fi and Fantasy art class, which was a very cool class. I found out there that I'm just not a very good drawer or painter. I'm more into the concept and design end of things, rather than the rendering. Anyhow, as part of the class, we were supposed to buy a comic book, from which we would choose a page and learn how to create a big painting from a small drawing, by plotting it out on graph paper. I chose an issue from my local super market, Judge Dredd versus Predator, and my infatuation was born.
As for the choking, that was rendered not too terribly long after I'd chosen JD as my avatar. Misopogon crafted that beautiful wonder in response to a little nazism I just couldn't resist. It was all in good humor, I'm sure. >.> <.<
3. Since the series began, I have been patiently waiting to ask you this question: Describe your sense of humor.
Oh, you want more detail. Alright, lets see here. Let me start by listing off the funniest people on the planet for you (past and present), to give you a sense of where I come from.
Groucho Marx, Gallagher, Hawkeye Pierce, Lewis Black, Robin Williams and Stephen Lynch. If you took them, rolled them all together and then made them way, way less funny, you'd have me. I'm a sucker for puns, a clever play on words, fast paced changes, jokes that engage your brain, and a willingness to make a complete fool of oneself for a good laugh. I have often thought I'd really like to make a go at an open mike night, but I've called around, and any open mike nights at clubs near me actually require you to pay the club. My wife says I should do it if my routine makes her laugh, which is normally easy except when I try a routine. Then she's like a beefeater or something. You can't get her to crack a smile when you really want to.
4. Wives are funny like that—they force us to consistently be the man they married. Now, we’ve covered the humor, let’s move onto a more serious topic. One of my favorite pieces written by you, or anyone on MGoBlog, for that matter, was the "Relax" op-ed. piece a few weeks back. Tell us about the motivation, creation, and response of this work.
Truthfully? This was crafted for two reasons. The first, and foremost, was because I really did feel like posts that worried too much about the stresses and strains put on coach Rodriguez were becoming extremely common place. I saw posts asking how much before he voluntarily left, and all of that. It's just another thing we as fans don't need to worry about.A football coach worries about winning games. Not about what Joe-John at the corner store thinks of him. I wanted to really get people thinking about how the minds of those in power work, and maybe, I dunno, nip yet another problem in the bud.
The second reason, and I'm a little bit ashamed to admit it, but it is what it is, was jealousy. As I said above, I'm no sabermetrician. While I find the posts on it terribly interesting and I can follow most of the statistical analysis pretty well, my own ability to do math effectively stopped with Trig 1 in high school. I realized that while other people could learn the formulas and then apply them over and over, I had to relearn the formulas for every single problem, every time. But their posts, so full of knowledge, so applicable to the sport I love, they shame me with my inability to compete. It's like reading about successful business people. You feel good for them, but at the same time, you wonder why you can't do that. Well, I said to myself, "so what if I'm not a mathematician. I didn't get my degree in PR for nothing." I felt compelled to find a use for my skills in reference to the sport I love as well. And so, I crafted the best darn piece I could with what I knew well, hoping to enlighten half as much as others do. I'm glad to know it seems to have hit its mark.
5. Without divulging too much information, can you describe what you do for a living? And what do you like to do for fun on your own time?
My official job title is Communications Coordinator. In reality, that's only a small portion of what I do. The company I work for is an industrial equipment manufacturer, and I do a variety of things there. I run shipping and receiving, I run the inventory and invoicing program on the non-managerial end (they order and set prices. I make sure things are entered correctly and log and make changes), and communications wise, I create the technical manuals for the equipment. All of the equipment is custom, so each needs its own manual. Between all of that, I keep pretty busy.
For fun on my own time, I'm a pretty normal guy. I like to work on my house or in my yard. I've always got some little project going on. My dad has a stunning 72 Corvette with the 454 Big Block in it (it's mine in the will!), so we take that to shows on summer weekends a lot. I love to cook, so I'm always working on this or that recipe when I have the time. And finally, I'm really, really looking forward to the release of StarCraft II in a couple of weeks. I fear for my sleep patterns.
I'm sure you are not alone. Let’s move on… describe the perfect meal.
I was dreading this one, because I love food, and it's so hard to choose. I'm a big time fine dining guy, so while a good home made meal suits me fine, I think I should go that way.
Dinner would begin with a small amuse bouche, perhaps a small spiced tuna preparation, paired with a glass of soft riesling. After that, a small bowl of a creamy seafood bique with a crusty slice of baguette. For the entree, I think I'll go with a horseradish crusted halibut, broiled, with a side of asparagus in hollandaise and some roasted dill redskin potatoes. I'd probably have a glass of semi-dry Syrah with this, or perhaps a big, bold Cab to counter the horseradish. Dessert would have to be a cheese course (a soft goat cheese, a semi-soft, and an aged firm) with a glass of royal tokaji 5 puttonyos 2003 dessert wine. I'd top the whole thing off with a cappuccino and a butter cookie.
Aw man. Now I'm hungry.
6. Finally, the staple questions: can you explain why you are a Michigan fan?
Both sides of the family are Michigan fans. Well, I have one uncle on each side that went to MSU, so most of the family are also Spartan fans, but I grew up in the era of Michigan dominance, so MSU was always an afterthought during my formative years. By the time I was old enough to recognize them as an actual football team too, and not just... well, whatever I thought they were, my natural hatred of all things not Maize and Blue had already set in. Now, you couldn't get me to say "Go State" if you threatened me with, well, whatever it is that they threaten people with to get them to be State fans in the first place.
Intellectual effort? Finally, who's your all-time favorite Wolverine?
I've got so many, but I'll have to go with old Timmy B. Biakabutuka was Michigan right about the time I truly started developing an interest in following Michigan in earnest, and not just on Saturdays during the season. That, and to this day, my mom still laughs saying his name.’
Blazefire. For some on the blog, it is a name that prompts fear. Fear, not because he’ll actually harm anyone—like the mall cop that chased you when you were ten or your first girlfriend’s unimpressed father, it is not about the danger of any physical attack that makes you cautious, but rather it is the threat of being put in one’s place. Blazefire is nowhere and everywhere at once, waiting for someone to misspell “Martavious” or to lay unresearched claims to Carlos Brown’s statistics from 2007. He is not vicious or vindictive, he simply recognizes a certain level of quality from the blog and expects others to maintain it.
For the rest of us on MGoBlog, he is something quite different. Class clown, prankster, the veritable Jokey Smurf of our tribe. I’ll admit, I’ve always looked upon Blazefire more as a source of comedy than anything else, but I do know others who are cautious of his reading their posts. Either way, his contributions never go unnoticed, and he is clearly one of the regulars at the bar. I hope you enjoyed this inside look at the man behind the madness, and I’ll see you all next week for another exciting edition of MGoProfile!